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Dark Destinations > Newest User Trips > Hammond Castle

Hammond Castle Other destinations within a
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Availability: Open to the Public
Filed Under: Historical Locations
Literary Sites
Paranormal Hot Spots > Haunted Museums
Television Locations > Bewitched
Added By: Tom G
Added On: April 27, 2007 - 10:23 AM UTC
Last Modified: October 27, 2008 - 01:18 AM UTC
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80 Hesperus Ave, Gloucester, MA 01930, USA (Gloucester, Massachusetts)
Gloucester's Haunted Castle
Hammond Castle was built in the 1920s by American Inventor John Hays Hammond Jr. Hammond holds the second largest number of invention patents next to Thomas Edison. He was a very wealthy man. His fascination with historical European culture led him to include many artifacts from old Europe in the furnishings - he even incorporated ancient tombstones inscribed in Latin and had them made parts of the walls. There are many ghost stories about Hammond Castle. Some think that Hammond brought spirits into the house along with the artifacts he collected. Others think that Hammond and his Wife summoned the spirits through their experiments with Spiritualism.

Even if you don't see a ghost during a visit to Hammond Castle, the site has plenty of eccentric features to entertain.  Among the features are a working drawbridge, the tomb of a child from ancient Rome, the skull of one of Christopher Columbus's crewman, an eighty-five foot tall pipe organ (the largest ever installed into a private residence, an indoor swimming pool complete with facades taken from Medieval European storefronts and many, many historical artifacts. 

The Cats of Hammond Castle
During their lives at Hammond Castle, John Hammond and his Wife, Irene had dozens of pet cats. Whenever one would die, Hammond would preserve the cat in formaldehyde. He would then lead a slow vehicular funeral procession around Cape Ann that would start and end at the castle. Ultimately the preserved feline would wind up in the master's future burial vault, much like an Egyptian pharaoh taking his pets with him into the afterlife. The burial vault is on the property.

John Hammond expressed a wish to be reincarnated as a cat. Some believe that Hammond did indeed return as a black cat that lived on the grounds in the years after his death. The stray chose the place to live and frequented the stone Bishop's Chair that Hammond liked to sit and smoke in.

The Dead Spot
There is a section of floor in the main hall of Hammond Castle that is bleached lighter then the rest of the floor. This is the result of the Hammond's experiments with Spiritualism. John Hammond created an elaborate Faraday cage that surrounded psychic mediums with an electrical field during seances. The concept was that the electrical field would keep out psychic impressions of the living around the medium and only allow in the spirits. The electrical field bleached the floor where the cage once stood. Some say that the "Dead Spot" has focused the energy of the castle's spirits into this small area.

The Supernatural at Hammond Castle
Items have been known to disappear, reappear, or be moved by unseen residents. There is a spectre who sometimes appears in the organ loft. Workers at the castle hear voices when nobody else is around. A ghostly red-haired woman occasionally appears amongst guests at weddings held at the castle. 

Castle of the Damned
During the Halloween season, Hammond Castle is transformed into the haunted attraction, Castle of the Damned. The annual Halloween haunt is put together by an interactive theatrical group that aspires to provide more than the traditional haunted attraction. The attraction varies from standard methods of scaring its guests and relies on more visceral means (through haunting images and scenery) to leave a more lasting horrific impression on those who pass through.

John Dandola
Author John Dandola uses Hammond Castle as a setting repeatedly in his mystery novels. His books Wind of Time, Wicked is the Wind, The Unbound Wind and Dead By All Appearances all use the castle as a setting. John has also written non-fiction books about Hammond and his castle.

An episode of the classic television show Bewitched had scenes filmed at Hammond Castle. Part of the "Salem Saga" of episodes, the episode Darrin on a Pedestal used the castle's courtyard. In the episode Samantha's cousin Selena brings the statue from the Gloucester Fisherman's Memorial to life. She then magically replaces the statue with Samantha's husband Darrin. The statue, played by actor Robert Brown, falls for and woos Serena. Part of that courtship takes place at the castle.
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Hammond Castle - From: SilverSword1238 (06/03/09, 04:44 AM UTC)
I have been to Hammond Castle several times in the fall and again in the summertime. When I first visited, they offered a guided tour which was very i...More
Rating: 0/0 (0 Comments)
Related Sites
Hammond Castle
The official Web site for the reportedly haunted museum, Hammond Castle, in Gloucester, Massachusetts - Contains information on their Halloween haunt, Castle of the Damned.
Web site for the author who has written a great deal about Hammond Castle (both fiction and non-fiction).
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See Also on
Dark Destinations in the News (12/4/07)
Blog: Hammond Castle (05/15/08)
Blog: Dark Destination's Birthday: Top 25 Destinations (08/05/08)
Blog: The Top 25 for the Month of October 2008 (11/04/08)
Blog: The Dark Destinations Top 50 for Spring 2009 (05/24/09)
Available from
The ghosts of Hammond castle
Wicked Is the Wind: A Jeffrey Devereaux--Kirsten Eriksson Novel
Living in the Past, Looking to the Future: The Biography of John Hays Hammond, Jr.
Wind of Time
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Hammond Castle Exterior
Exterior of Hammond Castle.
From: Tom G
Tombstone Walls
One of the many ancient gravestones incorporated into the walls of the castle.
From: Tom G
Indoor Pool
The indoor swimming pool room.
From: Tom G
Hammond Pool
Above view of the pool in Hammond Castle.
From: Tom G
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The above content is for informational purposes only. Before making any travel arrangements, it is highly recommended that you contact those in charge of the property to check for updated availability and hours of operation. While we do our best to keep this information updated, we cannot guarantee that it is completely valid and up to date. Any destination marked "Closed to the Public" is marked that for a reason and we discourage any visits or attempts to gain access to that facility. Similarly, take note of any "Travel Advisory" that may be associated with a destination. Finally, treat any location and its local residents with respect. Any vandalism and/or unruly behavior is completely despicable and only ruins the experience for future visitors.

There are 3 comments in the database.  
User Comments Order by: Most Recent | Originally Submitted
calebe Aug 15 2010, 01:34 PM UTC
I grew up in Gloucester and have been here many times. I was married and had my wedding reception in the castle as well. Sadly, I have never had any paranormal experiences there. However, the castle is amazing and is well worth a visit if you are in the area!
Tom G Feb 19 2009, 09:23 PM UTC
The best ways to reach Casey or myself is either by sending us a Private Message (PM) through this site by clicking on our names and going to our user accounts or by sending us an e-mail through the "Contact Us" link in The Cabinet section.
Edited on: Feb 19 2009, 11:38 PM UTC
ba2409 Feb 09 2009, 06:23 PM UTC
This is a great place to visit and very interesting. Hammond has recently been reinterred on the actual grounds of the Castle as the property with his tomb is being sold to pay some of the Castle's expenses. Should be interesting to see how he likes that! Tom G, I'd like to e-mail you to ask you a question about your experience at the Castle based on something you said. Is there a way I can contact you?
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